ACLU v. Geithner (D.D.C. Aug. 3, 2010)

* ACLU v. Geithner (D.D.C. Aug. 3, 2010) (seeking OFAC license to litigate on behalf of Anwar al-Awlaki in relation to his inclusion on list of targets approved for lethal strike)

Lots of news coverage of this one. The complaint, running 12 pages, is posted here. As you will see, the complaint is entirely focused on the constitutionality of the statutory and regulatory framework pursuant to which ACLU and CCR must obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control at Treasury in order to provide legal services to a person identified as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.” That is to say, the suit at this point isn’t about the underlying question of the legality of targeting al-Awlaki, but rather about the constitutionality of subjecting legal services to the same restrictions as other forms of service and support under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act system. This is important and interesting, of course, but the real fireworks will come later when a suit on the merits actually gets filed (something that presumably will occur once OFAC actually issues the requested license on its own initiative or else in the event that the court obliges OFAC to do so).

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